Jayne w/ gun

Pissed Off

I am not a "rock the boat" type of person, but this passage in a movie review of August Rush bothered me on such a deeply personal level, I had to do something:

"He's a blank slate, complete with glazed-over eyes and a slack-jawed smile. I don't think August is intended to be autistic, but that's how Highmore plays him. Highmore cries frequently and wears that stupid grin a lot, but he never emotes. It's impossible to accept August as a human being because there's nothing about him that seems real."

*fumes, rages, snarls*


I suppose I could have been more "frothing at the mouth" in my emailed response, but I was going for "coldly scathing":


Mr. Berardinelli,

I frequently read and and enjoy your thoughts on various films. However, this phrase from your review of "August Rush" stopped me in my tracks:

"He's a blank slate, complete with glazed-over eyes and a slack-jawed smile. I don't think August is intended to be autistic, but that's how Highmore plays him. Highmore cries frequently and wears that stupid grin a lot, but he never emotes. It's impossible to accept August as a human being because there's nothing about him that seems real."

My own son -- a 5 year-old on the mild end of the autism spectrum -- is one of the most animated, vivacious children you might ever meet. He faces life without a trace of guile or cynicism -- simply with a pure, undiluted joie de vivre. When he feels happy, he feels it with every ounce of his being. He also has amazing spacial and visual abilities, and I am often awestruck at the intricate, detailed Lego creations he constructs and the shapes he discovers in places where most of us see nothing. I am not saying that he is representative of the entire autistic population, but I will say that I find it highly offensive for you to lump the descriptor "autistic" in with phrases such as "glazed-over eyes", "slack-jawed smile", and "stupid grin".

How many autistics do you personally know? They may express emotions differently than you or I, but they certainly have them. And they are most certainly "human" and "real".

You are, by all means, entitled to your opinion of "August Rush", but the next time you feel this way about a film character, I strongly suggest that you choose your words with greater tact.


I couldn't even bring myself to sign this with a "Sincerely". :/

UPDATE:

Okay, to his credit, the guy just emailed me back with this:

"My apologies. I would agree that I employed bad judgment in my choice of words. My intention was not to equate "autistic" with "glazed-over eyes", "slack-jawed smile", and "stupid grin." Re-reading the sentences, I can see how that association might be made, and it's due to poor writing in that paragraph. That's not an excuse, but an explanation. The offending sentence has been removed from the review."

Well, GOOD.
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    angry angry

Just Breathe

I want you to do something.
It will take less than a minute and is something you do unconsciously every minute of every day.
Take a long slow deep breath. Feel the way the in-rush of air tickles your nose, moves through freely your trachea and bronchial tubes, filling your lungs. Feel the way your lungs receive the air, graciously and effortlessly.

If you have something to eat or drink nearby, take a sip or a bite. Chew it slowly and think for a minute about how easily your body accepts that food or beverage and how readily your digestive system starts to absorb nutrients and transform that bite of food or sip of beverage into energy-giving, cell-rejuvenating, life-sustaining fuel.

It's not easy for everyone.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disease that affects the lungs, sinuses, pancreas, liver, intestines, and male reproductive system. CF is caused by a genetic mutation. In healthy people, a gene, referred to as CFTR, produces a protein that regulates the movement of salt and water through the cell walls.

This process directly affects how the body makes sweat, mucus and enzymes for digestion. In people with CF, this protein does form properly, which impedes normal cell activity. A thick, heavy mucus develops that clogs the internal organs, impedes digestion, makes the patient susceptible to bacterial and viral infections, and makes taking a simple breath a moment-by-moment challenge. CF is the most common life-shortening disease diagnosed in children.

There is no cure.
tapestrymlp's daughter Cassie was diagnosed with CF three years ago. Cassie is a beautiful little girl, and I think she deserves a fighting chance to grow up to be a beautiful woman.

Jenn is participating in the CF Great Strides walk, and is holding a number of auctions on eBay to help raise money for Great Strides and the CFF. 100% of proceeds from each auction will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Please take a moment to visit http://cassiebug.jcracek.com/cf_auctions.php for links to the eBay auctions, which begin on April 1. Auction items include original artwork, signed books, collectibles, gift baskets, jewelry, crafts, and more.

Please take a moment to bid, and to spread this far and wide.

Can you guess what I'm making for the second auction?

A hint...Collapse )

(Original post by yaaresse)

Auction Update

Just a reminder that bidding on the current lot of items at The Jelly Bean Society's Auction for Cystic Fibrosis ends tonight at 10 p.m. ET! There's a lot of pretty stuff there -- check it out! My Abby Loomis story should go up tomorrow in the next lot. :)
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    optimistic optimistic

(no subject)

Pilfered from ashavah:

Ask any of my characters, canon or OC, a question (or more than one question) and said character will answer your questions honestly.
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    curious curious

Yeah, me too...

Nicked from absolutely everyone:

If you read this, even if I don't speak to you often, would you please post a memory of me? It can be anything you want, it can be good or bad, just so long as it happened. Then post this to your journal. See what people remember about you!
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    sleepy sleepy

Ah, nostalgia...

Nicked from piperx:

List five fictional people -- from television, movies, books, whatever -- that you had a crush on as a child (or early teens). Then post this on your LiveJournal so other people can know what a dork you've always been.

1. Bo Duke, from The Dukes of Hazzard (first grade)

2. Ernie, from My Three Sons (second grade)

3. Superman, as played by Christopher Reeve (second grade)

4. Face, from The A-Team (fifth grade)

5. Peter Brady, from The Brady Bunch (er, second through fifth grade)

I think David Hasselhoff and the fictional Hardy Boys were also in there somewhere. atropos87 has also brought to mind the shameful omission of Han Solo from this list:

"I love you."

"I know."


*swoons*

My, were my interests varied. :P
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    silly silly